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HUGE demonstrations rocked over 40 cities in Brazil on Saturday demanding the impeachment of President Jair Bolsonaro.
The National Day of Struggle was called by the Fora Bolsonaro (Bolsonaro Out!) campaign, backed by the Workers Party of former president Luiz Inacio “Lula” da Silva, the Communist Party and many other left forces in response to the far-right leader’s “genocidal” policies during the coronavirus crisis, which has killed over 525,000 Brazilians, the second-highest total worldwide after the United States.
The Communist Party of Brazil (PCdoB) mobilised thousands, calling people to march with “masks on your faces, sanitiser in your hands and readiness to fight in your hearts.”
“If we have a minute of silence for each Covid death, we would be quiet until June 2022,” read a poster held aloft by a man in Belem, the capital of Para state.
PCdoB parliamentary leader Renildo Calheiros marched with a thousands-strong crowd in Recife, Pernambuco state. He said the issues went beyond the virus itself: “Here in Pernambuco crowds gather to say that the Brazilian people want jobs, they want vaccines and they want Bolsonaro out. That the country can’t stand so much neglect.
“There are more than half a million Brazilians who died of Covid-19 and the government treats them with indifference and irresponsibility,” he said.
The gigantic mobilisation followed Friday’s Supreme Court decision authorising a criminal investigation into allegations of corruption on Mr Bolsonaro’s part involving a vaccine deal.
Prosecutors will investigate whether Mr Bolsonaro committed the crime of “prevarication,” which entails delaying or refraining from action required as part of a public official’s duty for reasons of personal interest.
Luis Ricardo Miranda, the chief of the Health Ministry’s import division, said he faced undue pressure to sign off on the import of 20 million vaccines from Indian pharmaceutical Bharat Biotech. He said there were irregularities in the invoices. He and his brother, a former Bolsonaro ally in the National Congress, say they brought the concerns to the president who promised to refer them to the police — but the police say they were never approached.
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